Members Family History's


Appleby Family - Kaye McFarlane (1058)

An old photograph of my great grandmother has always intrigued me. It depicts a strong woman in a black dress with large capable hands holding a personal Bible. She was Annie APPLEBY, born in Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia who married John HARRISON at Coburg, Victoria, Australia in 1874. They had 11 children.

When my great aunt died, I was given a birth certificate which had been discovered in a box. Someone had sent for it in 1917.... I wonder who? The name on this certificate was not Annie APPLEBY but Annie MERCHANT, a name unfamiliar to my relatives. Her parents were John and Sarah MERCHANT.The time and place of birth corresponded with the known facts of Annie APPLEBY: - she was born in Deloraine, Tasmania in May 1851.

I found the Tasmanian Pioneers Index very useful. I was excited to learn that Ann had 3 siblings; James, (1853), an un-named female (1855) and William (1857). Ann's index notes, unlike the sanitised 1917 transcription, refer to her mother as "unmarried Sarah" but her mother's surname HARRISON appears on the other entries. Tragically, Sarah died aged 26 in 1860, a victim of a flu epidemic.

I searched for an APPLEBY family in the Deloraine area in the 1850 - 60's and discovered farmers John and Elizabeth APPLEBY. Annie's wedding certificate confirmed the connection. She names them as her parents and Elizabeth also as a witness. It appears they took her in and raised her following her mother's death. I haven't been able to discover the fate of her brothers and sister but her father died at Cascades Pauper's Establishment in Hobart in 1877. If it hadn't have been for the certificate, we may never have learned of her real parents. I wonder whether this prompted the request for the certificate in 1917.................?


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